1964 Chevrolet Corvette Drag Racer

If you like a challenge, this highly desirable and conceivably rebuildable-to-stock 1964 Corvette convertible with hardtop, originally a 327 with 300 horsepower and a Muncie M20 four-speed transmission, could be a great winter project. It’s here on Facebook Marketplace with a $38,000 asking price in Tavares, Florida. The alternative is to use it as-is, “lettered up like a Bardahl racer”. The ‘Vette appears to be vintage-race-ready, and the seller says it was completely rebuilt frame-off six years ago.

Under the hood now is a 350-cubic-inch GM pickup crate motor with a matching rebuilt New Process NP 440 four-speed manual transmission. The car is currently roadable, with vintage air and “cruises all day on 87-octane regular gas.” The seller, evidently somewhat adept, made the cross member removable for easy clutch and transmission service. He also built a custom 2.5-inch exhaust with crankcase scavenging and electric cutouts and five-inch stainless steel mufflers.

A lot has been taken off—the original seats, radio, matching-numbers engine and transmission, and headlight motors—but all of it has been retained by the vendor. Less than 10,000 miles are listed, but TMU. “This was a garage find that had been off the road for 15 years, and it took me another four years to get it on the road,” the seller tells me. He adds, “I didn’t do anything to this car that would keep it from being returned to stock. I only raced it at nostalgia drag races ad Corvette shows that had track days.” The car was featured in Eastern Hotrodder magazine last year.

More photos, particularly of the interior, would have been useful. The car reportedly has new carpet and racing seats, and a restored dash and gauges. The hardtop was restored but the convertible top is neither restored nor installed. There’s one shot of the passenger door panel wrapped in some kind of insulation. The key question is how much the body was cut up to accommodate the racing equipment and big fat tires. It doesn’t look too bad in the photos.

The ’64 got additional sound insulation because owners of the ’63 complained it was too loud in the cockpit—was all that ripped out here?

The car was decently optioned from the factory, and it would be interesting to see the build sheet. In 1964 there were four 327 options, and this one is one up from entry-level with 300, not 250, horsepower.

The original four-speed is also an upgrade over the stock three-speed. Buyers could also specify a Holley carb instead of the base Carter affair. Owners could also get all sorts of other stuff, transistor ignition, positraction, special power brakes with finned drums, dual-circuit brakes, a heavy-duty stabilizer bar, and upgraded springs and shocks.

On the other hand, you could spend a little more and buy a Concours-level ’64 Corvette that you can get in and drive to the car show. I’m seeing body-off examples for sale around $65,000. So would you take a chance on this Sting Ray in the citrus state? Readers who know more about vintage racing modifications than I do should weigh in here.

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Comments

  1. DENNIS DAINACK

    0nly for the rich , cars on barn finds go for prices of cars already restored , where is the room for the regular guy who wants to rebuild his memory of days gone by

    Like 12
    • Steve R

      There are plenty of reasonably priced classic/performance cars for those who are flexible and willing to put in the work finding one. That is nothing new. Even in the early-80’s when I was priced out of my top choices, so were most of my friends. That never stopped me or most of them. We adjusted our sights to what we could afford Andover time picked up better search tactics. Once we did that, we never had problems find cars, at least most of us. There was a small minority that wallowed in self pity that they couldn’t find their “dream cars”, but then again, they were never interested in putting in the time to seriously look for them either.

      Steve R

      Like 19
      • Joseph

        That is right, Steve. It takes time and effort to find a car when you have something particular in mind. It took about two years for me to find a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner convertible to rebuild but I finally located one that had been in storage 44 years and I was able to purchase it from the family of the original owner. I paid a fair price and got almost exactly what I was looking for. So it can happen. Just keep looking and making contacts. And when you find it, get the money out of your pocket.

        Like 9
  2. tony t

    Appears that left arms out the window is a thing, there …

    Like 3
  3. Steve R

    You can tell from that it’s a nostalgia event and not a real race. Every drag strip I’ve ever been to makes people roll up their windows before they ever pull into the burnout box. If a window on a street car won’t go up, they turn them around and send them home, no exceptions.

    Steve R

    Like 5
    • Michael Babinetz

      The name is on the back of the car.
      SATISFACTION
      I put the number on the car so people would not ask me what year it is. That was a huge fail.

      Like 3
  4. Michael Babinetz

    FS (For Sale) 1964 Corvette convertible – CorvetteForum – Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion
    https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c1-and-c2-corvettes-for-sale-wanted/4460039-1964-corvette-convertible.html

    Like 4
  5. Michael Babinetz

    This car has a full correct interior with a dynamat hush kit and all the correct sound deadening g insulation. I have hundreds of pictures of this build.

    Like 2
  6. Mike1955

    As an old drag racer, why the numbers, drag racers typically name their cars?

    Like 1
  7. dirtyharry

    Here is a link to the basic NHRA safety rules. How fast you go, dictates what equipment is required, other than the basic rules for all cars. I doubt this car needs to meet any special rules. It just won’t be all that fast as configured. Looks like a ton of fun at the right price of course.

    https://st.hotrod.com/uploads/sites/21/2018/03/NHRA-Racing-Safety-Rules.pdf

    Like 4
    • Michael Babinetz

      I have only raced the car at nostalgia drags and Corvette shows that have drags. None of it is serious racing but it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

      Like 3
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        I disagree – have you tried autocross,
        or hillclimbing?

        Like 1
  8. Rogue

    Am I the only one ? why put in a 210hp Goodwrench Truck 350! I’m sorry but a 210hp engine that is all done at 4000 RPM is not fun. Even with that “Issue” probably not too high on the price: https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1964-Chevrolet-Corvette?id=86583

  9. George Mattar

    Truth be told, this was the result of many Corvettes. Many are restored with restamped engines. I like this car and cheaper than my all time favorite 1967.

    Like 1

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